It turns out the ruckus over nine partial cadavers that erupted in June after Innovative Spinal Technologies closed its doors may have been overblown.
Media outlets and bloggers were quick to jump on the story, reporting that the company, which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy status in May, left the “gruesome” cadavers “languishing” in its Mansfield, Mass., headquarters after it quit the premises.
But Warren Agin, the trustee handling the bankruptcy proceeding, and former CEO Scott Schorer say the company did everything by the book as the company spun down — in fact, Schorer tells MassDevice, he offered to pay for the proper disposal of the body parts out of his own pocket.
“We were very focused on training and research. The cadavers are a necessary part of that,” Schorer told us. “The alternative is to train physicians on live patients in the operating room. You would be stunned how often that happens. We took the hard way and trained more than 100 surgeons on new techniques [using the cadavers].”
And after the story created sensational headlines in June, Agin sent out a press release explaining that “the presence of the cadavers does not present any threat to public health and safety. … These cadavers were maintained and disposed of in accordance with state and federal regulations. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, the company had been in the process of making arrangements to dispose of the cadavers in question.”
But none of the media outlets that ran with the initial story — including The Associated Press, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald and WBZ-TV — bothered to run a follow-up.
And the Globe‘s website took down its June 3 story on the cadavers; a search of boston.com turns up the link, but the story about IST’s “gruesome assets” is no longer available online.
Schorer said the the town of Mansfield and a local funeral home cooperated to lay the remains to rest.